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The Health Minister ignored his own MPs warnings after the Lumsden Maternity Centre was downgraded and missing life-saving equipment, Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says.

In emails released under the Official Information Act, Dr Liz Craig raised concern about missing equipment from the Lumsden Maternity Centre on April 17, including oxygen, which the Southern District Health Board had said was in place on March 28.

“The Health Minister preferred to plead ignorant rather than address the issue of the missing equipment at Lumsden Maternity,” Mr Walker says.

“The lies then continued as the Southern District Health Board told the Health Select Committee, in response to my petition, it was not aware that the equipment at the hub was not functional – information recorded in the report from the Health Select Committee on my petition.”

“Where is the accountability?”

“The Health Minister ignored warning bell after warning bell which has now resulted in multiple emergency births that would not have occurred if Lumsden had still been a primary birthing unit.”

“This Government needs to stop treating rural Southlanders as a social experiment and give mothers and babies the maternity services they deserve and are entitled to.”

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